Habanero Chicken

It’s no secret, I love my chillies. Spices in general, but chillies in particular. As we start a new horticultural year, I’ve now got 22 varieties of chillies on the go, many are under artificial light to a longer growing season for some of the more challenging varieties for the British climate. Last year’s chilli growth was a little disappointing, however this was more down to the weather than anything else. In order to see if I can get more out of my plants this year, I’m running an experiment in hydroponics to see if this will be my silver bullet solution to address past years disappointing chilli, tomato, aubergine and pepper production. Anyway, I digress – the point I wanted to make was that I’ve still a large number of chillies in the freezer (despite the relatively poor yield), and need to start using these up. Chillies freeze really well, and from a preparation perspective, can be chopped really finely from frozen. A good tip if you’re buying a bag full of supermarket chillies – just keep a few in the fridge & freeze the rest for use later.

So this is the first of 2 Chicken and Habanero Chilli recipes, imaginatively named Habanero Chicken. Both recipes are hot (these are red habaneros, after all), but distinctly different, and both are designed to bring out the full flavour of the habanero which has a wonderful fruit intensity, rather than a ‘blast your head off’ dish. This is effectively a one pot stew and as cooking goes, is about as easy as it gets

Serves 2-3, ready within the hour


  • 2 large Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice (or juice of 1 lime)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 large Onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, freshly grated
  • 2 whole Habanero Chillies (do NOT chop or cut!)
  • 4-6 medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 Fresh sage leaves or 1/2 tsp Dried Herbs
  • Hot water (about 1 ltr)


  • Marinade the chicken with the lime juice in a small bowl whilst you prepare the other ingredients
  • Heat the oil in a medium sized casserole or pan (approx 2-3 litre+ capacity), add the Cumin seeds and gently fry off the onions until soft
  • When the onions have a little colour (not burned!), add the chilli and ginger and stir for a few seconds
  • Stir in the chicken with any remaining lime juice from the marinade and stir well, before adding the tomatoes, allspice, salt and sage leaves
  • Add enough boiling water to cover and bring to the boil
  • Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Be careful not to break up the chillies
  • Before serving, check the seasoning.  Add additional salt & pepper if required.  The flavour of the habaneros should be penetrated the dish, and if the chillies haven’t split, the heat will still be relatively mild.
  • Carefully remove the chillies, squeezing lightly on the storing spoon to release some of the hot chilli juice back into the pan, then discard.  NB: According to taste, you could omit this step for a milder dish, or return the chillies for a much hotter one!
  • Serve the dish over a bowl of plain boiled rice

One Comment Add yours

  1. Yum! I love lime. Anything with lime is good, but this sounds great! I’m going to make this. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the ping!

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